1. Wake Forest (65 first-place votes): The Demon Deacons return 98.2 percent of their scoring and 97.1 percent of their rebounding. Offense is not the problem: Wake Forest ranked third nationally in scoring last season. Defense will determine whether Coach Skip Prosser's team can win the national title.

2. North Carolina (13): Coach Roy Williams will guide a unique blend of personalities, including that of junior Rashad McCants, who also is one of the country's most talented players. McCants has 1,193 career points, the fifth-most by a sophomore in ACC history.

3. Georgia Tech (10): The Yellow Jackets are third in the conference yet top five in the country. Coach Paul Hewitt's team is even more dangerous than it was last season, when it reached the national title game. Three players -- Jarrett Jack, B.J. Elder and Luke Schenscher -- were named to the preseason Wooden Award list.

4. Duke (3): It will be difficult for the Blue Devils to replace Chris Duhon, who provided solid point guard play and leadership. Expect senior Daniel Ewing and junior J.J. Redick to emerge as leaders. Redick said he is in the best shape of his life.

5. North Carolina State: The Wolfpack is one of only three ACC teams -- Duke and Wake Forest are the others -- that posted a winning ACC regular season record in each of the past three seasons. With the best senior in the conference, national player of the year candidate Julius Hodge, that streak should continue.

6. Maryland: The Terps have the back court and the overall depth to contend for the Final Four. Do they have someone to replace center Jamar Smith's scoring and rebounding contributions?

7. Florida State: The Seminoles are the league's sleeper team, even if they must replace Tim Pickett's 16.5 points per game. Watch Von Wafer, who won three ACC rookie of the week awards last season.

8. Virginia: The key will be point guard, where sophomore T.J. Bannister and freshman Sean Singletary are expected to split time. Singletary should excel in Coach Pete Gillen's fast-paced offense.

9. Clemson: The Tigers don't have the players to compete with the league's upper echelon teams. Sharrod Ford, who was second in the ACC in blocks per game last season, will have a strong senior season.

10. Virginia Tech: Last year, the Hokies posted their first winning season since 2000. With only one senior on the roster, Coach Seth Greenberg's team won't be competitive in the ACC this season.

11. Miami: The Hurricanes lost eight games by seven points or less last season. Miami returns only two starters, which isn't enough experience to escape the bottom of the country's toughest conference.